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The Back to Basic held its Episode 11 with the title “Creative IEC Materials for Caregivers of Children with Tuberculosis” last November 23, 2021. This was hosted by the NRCP Pharmaceutical Division with the Teacher/Lecturer, Asst. Prof. Jay P. Jazul.

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“Tuberculosis (TB) was already eradicated in different parts of the world due to the emergence of effective drug treatment and immunization program, but how come our country is still coping with the burden of this disease?” Asst. Prof Jazul emphasized as he introduced his lecture on TB and what we can do to help in eradicating it.

Mr. Jazul, Faculty member of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Faculty of Pharmacy and  a Resident researcher of the UST Research Center for Social Sciences and Education, conducted his online lecture with three (3) specific objectives, namely:

  1. Describe the effect of pediatric tuberculosis within the household
  2. Explain the importance of Information Education Campaign (IEC) Materials
  3. Enumerate practical examples of IEC to be implemented within the community

Pediatric Tuberculosis

The lecture emphasized that TB is one of the top 10 causes of death among children worldwide. According to the WHO, there is an estimation of 10,600 patients with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in 2011 which could be a reason for socio-economic costs to the country. Treatment of TB among pediatric population is often challenging. Lack of information on drug formulation and medication adherence is some of the concerns in its management. He also mentioned that higher TB incidence was recorded in places with higher population density. TB bacteria stay in rooms with no fresh air or no air circulation, therefore, increasing the risk of TB transmission. Transmission of tuberculosis to household or community setting is a more rampant factor especially in patients positive in different tests.

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Information Education Campaign (IEC) Materials                                                                       

Asst. Prof. Jazul highlighted the important role of community campaign in the management and mitigation of some of the communicable and infectious diseases. Right information to be delivered to every household is the key for this endeavor. It is suggested to come up with different information education campaign. IEC are materials such as comics for reading, calendar for guiding the individual and video clips.

“We must remember that planning is very essential to generate these IEC. It should be fitted according to the community and household setting so that they can easily grasp the information we will provide” said Asst. Prof. Jazul. He also recommends identifying socio-cultural determinants of the community behavior towards children living with tuberculosis (CLTB). Also, upon creating the IEC, the misconceptions about TB were addressed and scientific evidence was presented to the community.

This aims to establish appropriate information drive to the caregivers of pediatric TB that will aid in the TB management. This was done through a child-centered and community-based information education campaign (IEC) material on lowering risk and vulnerability to TB. Specifically, to create IEC through different strategies like printed materials (comic and calendar) and video presentation. 

Lapses in Information Dissemination

There are misinterpretations about TB medication. There are CLTB who stopped their medication intake. Health workers were not able to follow them up. Instead of finishing the standard treatment, their failure to take medicine may lead to their drug resistance.

There were also documented wrong prescriptions given to the children. They were prescribed with anti-TB drugs even if their laboratory results were negative. Most of them perceive that TB is caused by vices (i.e. smoking and alcohol consumption).  The key to these lapses is addressed by creating the proper IEC for TB, depending on the concern of the community.

The lecture of Asst Prof Jazul ended with assessment questions where the enrollees were preceded by a Q&A portion led by Dr. Erna C. Arollado, Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences Division. Questions about using IEC for Covid19, status of TB at present, promising medicinal plants against TB, IEC derived from scientific basis, and more were raised by participants.

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Dr. Marieta Bañez-Sumagaysay, NRCP Executive Director and some of the enrollees of B2B Episode 11

In her closing remarks, NRCP Executive Director, Dr. Marieta Bañez-Sumagaysay highlighted data regarding the TB status of the Philippines. #TBFreePh reports that in 2019, the Philippines had the highest TB incidence in Asia. TB is a deadly, yet curable disease, “the IEC strategies  that Teacher Jay taught us today are ways that we can be more actively engaged to help end TB in the country.” She also highlighted

The online class had a total of 186 (119 female, 67 male) virtual enrollees including NRCP members, DOST agencies, students and teachers from different schools and universities, academe, media, and DepEd. 

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